Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/14/14
The Atlanta Falcons made two transactions on Wednesday, cutting veterans Asante Samuel and Stephen Nicholas in moves that freed up a total of $7.5 million in cash and $6.5 million in cap space. Samuel was seen as a steal by fans and columnists back two years ago when the Falcons acquired the four-time Pro Bowler from the Philadelphia Eagles for a sixth round pick, but his fairly successful 2012 season (5 INTs with 1 touchdown along with 34 tackles) was followed up by a dud in 2013. Hampered by injuries that sidelined him for five games, a considerable amount of Samuel’s numbers either tied or set new career-lows, including games played (11), interceptions (1), interception return yards (1), and assisted tackles (1). Considering his struggles along with the emergence of rookies Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford, it was not much of a surprise to see the Falcons part ways with the thirty-three year old. Samuel’s tenure with the Falcons was lackluster in the end (Scott Cunningham/Getty Images North America) Nicholas, who was a fourth round pick by the team back in 2007, was a backup for the better part of his seven seasons, apart from the 2012 campaign when he started 15 games and recorded 71 tackles with 2 sacks. Nicholas became expendable thanks to the great play of rookies Paul Worrilow and Joplo Bartu, who quickly proved that their potential and lower salaries were more suitable for the Falcons. With more money now freed up (Atlanta has a projected $21.2 million in cap space), who will the Atlanta Falcons target in free agency? General manager Thomas Dimitroff typically likes to solve the majority of the team’s issues through the draft, which should bring in one of the best offensive tackles or defensive ends available to the team. Dimitroff is preparing for what looks to be the most important offseason of his career Meanwhile, we could see the Falcons try to sign a veteran offensive guard or another tackle to try to give the a new identity to the 2014 O-Line, which could see a player like Kansas City’s Branden Albert or St. Louis’ Harvey Dahl, the former Falcon who some believe could be a cap casualty with the Rams. Atlanta may go the route they pursued last year and try to hit a home run in free agency at a position like tight end (although I doubt Jimmy Graham leaves NOLA) or defensive end (Bengals and former Georgia Tech end Michael Johnson would be a name to watch), but the vibe that is surrounding the team right now makes it look as if they are in conservative mode leading up to May’s draft.
PLAYERS: Asante Samuel
TEAMS: Atlanta Falcons
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Yankees wanted Rollins but Phillies' price was too high

Pop misses game for medical reasons; Messina takes over

John Beilein upset with ESPN for late start time to game

Tyson Chandler felt like Knicks' scapegoat at times

Fred Jackson has 'no respect' for Donte Whitner

Devon Still responds to unpaid child support allegations

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Diamondbacks sign Cuban slugger Yasmany Tomas

Josh Gordon felt alienated by some in Browns organization

Jerry Jones: I'm a big admirer of Robert Griffin III

Raiola fined for uneccesarily striking Pats' Zach Moore

Report: Michigan keeping Jim Hackett on as athletic director

LeBron James on Ferguson: 'Violence is not the answer'

Report: Raiders-Rams game could be moved to Indy

Todd Gurley begins rehab after surgery on knee for torn ACL

Brodeur to practice with Blues

OSU player posts Michigan player's girlfriend as his 'WCW'

Jim Harbaugh's family may not eat turkey thanks to NBC

Ole Miss' The Grove threatened by Mississippi State fan

Is it time for the Redskins to move on from Robert Griffin III?

Top 10 fantasy football turkeys for 2014

WATCH: Coyotes lose in ugly fashion, score own goal in OT

Warriors are having tons of fun on team plane

Jenn Sterger hints she'll be back in her FSU cowgirl gear for game

Game of the week: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos

Falcons News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

John Beilein upset with ESPN

Should Washington move on from RG3?

Dominic Raiola fined for cheap shots

Game of the week: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos

Rose leaves with injury again

WATCH: Pierce signs for fan during game

Report: McCoy to start over RG3

Braxton Miller headed to Oregon?

10 most one-sided college football rivalries

Pierce: C's Big Three like 'Holy Trinity'

Maclin unhappy with Cooper comments

Post-Week 13 CFB Playoff projection

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.